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Comparing Cicones And The Cattle Of The Sun Episode In The Odyssey

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The Cicones episode and the Cattle of the Sun episode in The Odyssey have some differences, despite their major similarity. In the Cicones episode, the threat that faces Odysseus and his men are the people of Thrace and their anger. In the Cattle of the sun episode, however, the threat that faces Odysseus and his men is the wrath of the gods. On Thrace, Odysseus manages to escape alive and with all but six of his crew-members form each ship. Additionally, the men of Thrace fought Odysseus’s men on land. On Thrinacia, the island that Helios’s cattle roamed on, though, is not where Zeus strikes them down. Zeus strikes down Odysseus’s men on the open water, not posing a fight, but rather extermination. Unlike the men of Thrace, too, Zeus takes…show more content…
Odysseus’s desire is shown by his use of first-person narrating, claiming, “There I sacked the city,/killed the men, but as for the wives and plunder,/that rich haul we dragged away from the place—/we shared it round so no one, not on my account,/would go deprived of his fair share of spoils” (9. 45-49). Odysseus holds him and his men accountable for the sharing of the sacking, killing, and presumably raping of the loot and Cicones. Right after this raid and assault, Odysseus tells his men to leave, but they resist, and pay the price of their lives for their mistake: “Then I urged them to cut and run, set sail,/but would they listen? Not those mutinous fools;/there was too much wine to swill,/too many sheep to slaughter…the Cicones broke our lines and beat us down at last./Out of each ship, six men-at-arms were killed” (9. 50-52, 68-69). Odysseus understands what will become of him and his crewmembers if they stay too long and relish too much in what wasn’t…show more content…
When Odysseus and his men behaved in a “reckless” (12. 325) ways, both times they were attacked by those who they had abused and the allies of the abused. The Odyssey, however, doesn’t suggest a theme that says that those who act cruelly to the land and people of the land. When Odysseus raid, rape, and kill the land and the peoples of Thrace, the island of the Cicones, it is portrayed as a positive thing, with no man going without “his fair share of spoils” (9. 49). The Odyssey instead shows a theme that discourages greedy behaviors. It is only when Odysseus and his men stay too long on Thrace and slaughtered too many livestock, and slaughter Helios’s cattle on Thrinacia, instead of just enjoying the rest that the land offered, that Odysseus and his shipmates are sought after and slain. Odysseus knows, too, about the negative repercussions of taking too much and resting too long. He knows the truth that raiding and killing is not bad, but that doing too much of either is shameful and deserves
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